Daily Management Review

LA votes to increase minimum wage to $15-an-hour


The second-largest city in the US votes in favor of wage reforms, possibly creating ripple effect in the country

LA votes to increase minimum wage to $15-an-hour
Los Angeles has voted to increase the minimum wage in the city from $9 an hour to $15 an hour by 2020.
The second-largest city in the US has voted for the reform amidst rallying cries from labor group protesting the disparity in minimum wages in the country. The City Council passed the reform in a 14-to-1 vote. With various tech companies based in the California area, including Facebook, pledging to increase the minimum wage in the company, the wage reform was just round the corner for the city.  Los Angeles follows several other cities in the US including San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and Oakland to approve wage reforms. Many cities have independently enacted or proposed legislation in recent years to create a local minimum wage that is higher than the federal minimum and their state‚Äôs minimum, if there is one. In 2014, Republican-leaning states including Alaska and South Dakota have also raised their state-level minimum wages by ballot initiative.
Statistics point out that almost 50 per cent of the population of the city of Los Angeles earn less than $15 an hour and under the plan approved Tuesday, the minimum wage will rise over five years. There could also be a ripple effect in the state of California with other cities forced to take the reform. The whole state has been facing high housing expenses and the minimum wage reform was proposed because increasingly low income households are finding it difficult to survive in the state.
Besides the state of California, the wage issue has been part of the national debate for a while. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York announced this month that he was convening a state board to consider a wage increase in the local fast-food industry, which could be enacted without a vote in the State Legislature. Now labor groups are forcing the governor to not accept any reform which is lesser than $15 an hour. The current minimum wage in New York State is $8.75, versus a federal minimum wage of $7.25, and will rise to only $9 at the end of 2015. A little more than one third of workers citywide and statewide now make below $15 an hour.